Downtown Update Meeting Summary June 6, 2018

Downtown Update Meeting Summary
June 6, 2018
Topic: Special Events – Changes in the Process
Presenters: Julie Adams and Kim Stopiak, City of Lakeland Parks and Recreation Department

Typically LDDA does not summarize Downtown Update Meetings and share via email. However, this was a particularly important subject that affects many businesses who were not in attendance.

In 2014, the city of Lakeland formed SERT (Special Events Review Team) to oversee the more than 260 events that occur city-wide in Lakeland that occur in any city-owned building or outdoor public space. These events are defined as more than 50 people who are gathering for a purpose. This committee is composed of staff from Parks & Rec, LPD, LFD, and Public Works divisions: Solid Waste, Traffic, and Parking.

This committee meets every 2 weeks or as needed, and reviews special event applications, determines costs, organizes logistics, etc. It often meets with special event planners to discuss what is/is not possible for the planner’s event.

Special event permits are managed through Parks & Rec’s office at Lake Mirror. Kim Stopiak is the contact person.

The city is currently working on a software solution to manage special events. This software will allow the public and event planners to view a public calendar of booked events. (The listing for private events like weddings will not include any private information. Those bookings will simply be listed as “booked” or “unavailable”. The software will also provide online access to an event planner guide and a full special events application package.

The current special events application is due to the city at least 30 days prior to the date of the event. Staff is working to increase that to 60 days.

Public vs. Private Events

A public event is defined as an event whose attendance is either free and open to the public or ticketed, but open to anyone to purchase. A private event is defined as an event that the general public cannot attend. Currently there is a moratorium on private events in outdoor spaces in Downtown. The city is working to finalize a policy for private events in Downtown public space. The SERT team will come back to Downtown merchants for feedback before final decisions are made on the private event policy.

Julie Adams has recently passed the torch to head the SERT committee to Kim Stopiak. Kim is the main contact for any questions concerning special events. Kim can be reached at